[image credit: Penn State]
Water purification in remote areas requires transportation of expensive chemicals
Lack of potable water is a huge problem in many developing countries. According to UNICEF, 783 million people worldwide are without improved drinking water, and the World Health Organization estimates that lack of proper drinking water causes 1.6 million deaths each year from diarrheal and parasitic diseases.
Part of the problem is that many of these countries must import expensive chemicals to clarify the water, limiting the amount they can afford to produce.
Solution: Moringa seeds power a reusable water filter made from local materials
Moringa oleifera is a fast-growing tree that lives throughout many tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. Ancient peoples would crush the seeds of the tree and use them to purify water. A recent study found that the Moringa Oleifera Cationic Protein (MOCP) will kill many bacteria in water and cause them to clump together and settle to the bottom of the container.
This isn’t a perfect solution, as the organic material in the seeds must then be filtered out, but a team of Penn State researchers published a study in 2012 showing that MOCP can be included in a reusable sand filter, allowing for the creation of a reusable water filter made entirely from local materials.